Indian govt rejects plan for minimum export price for onions

The Indian government is no longer considering imposing a minimum export price (MEP) on onions. Imports contracted by private agencies will continue to flow in over the next two-three weeks keeping prices in check, following which the early kharif produce should arrive in the market.

“Prices of onions at the mandis have fallen considerably after imports have started coming in. The orders already placed would continue to flow in for the next 15-20 days preventing domestic prices from spiking. Then it will be time for the early kharif produce to come into the market, which would again put downward pressure on prices,” a government official explained.

The inter-ministerial group (IMG) on onions, which has representatives from the Departments of Commerce, Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution has, therefore, shelved the option of imposing a MEP on onions to check exports for the time being, the official added.

Last month, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had asked the Commerce & Industry Ministry to impose a MEP on onions to check spiralling prices.

The IMG had not gone ahead with the proposal and had preferred to wait and watch.

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